Our passion for bourbon
FOUR ROSES BEGAN WITH A LOVE STORY DATING BACK TO 1888
It all started with a marriage proposal and a corsage of four roses... Explore the story of how a romantic gesture grew to help establish one of the world's most beloved bourbon brands.
A GLIMPSE OF THE PAST
Four Roses brought a thriving business to Louisville, Kentucky
Paul Jones Jr. moved his successful business to Louisville, Kentucky, where he opened an office in a section of historic Main Street called “Whiskey Row.” He trademarked the name Four Roses four years later, claiming production and sales back to the 1860s.
Expansion of the business
In 1922, the Paul Jones Company purchased the Frankfort Distilling Company. Along with this purchase came the rights to sell Four Roses as a medical whiskey during Prohibition. Thus, making Four Roses one of the few bourbon brands to survive Prohibition.
Seagram purchased the Frankfort Distilling Co.
Seagram purchased the Frankfort Distilling Co. primarily to acquire the most noted and recognized name in the business – Four Roses. Even though Four Roses was one of the top-selling Bourbons in the U.S. during the 30s, 40s, and 50s, Seagram decided to discontinue the sale of Four Roses’ Kentucky Straight Bourbon in the United States. Four Roses was moved to the rapidly growing European and Asian markets, where it quickly became, and still is, a top-selling Bourbon in both Europe and Japan.
Jim Rutledge joins Seagram
A young man named Jim Rutledge, who would later become one of the world’s most legendary Master Distillers, joined Seagram in the Louisville Plant’s Research and Development Department. In 1975, he was transferred to Corporate Headquarters in New York until 1992, when Jim asked to return home to Kentucky to help with the Four Roses brand. In 1995, he replaced Ova Haney as the Master Distiller. For the next several years, Jim worked tirelessly to return the Four Roses brand back to the States – a dream that would become a reality in the hands of a new owner.
Four Roses was back on U.S. shelves
February 2002, the Kirin Brewery Company, Ltd. purchased the Four Roses Bourbon brand and production facilities, and the new acquisition was named the Four Roses Distillery LLC. Shortly thereafter, Four Roses Bourbon was once again sold in the United States and quickly earned the reputation of being one of the most notable names in the bourbon world.
Al Young named Brand Ambassador
Icon and legend, Al Young was named Four Roses Brand Ambassador after 40 years in various roles, including distillery manager. Al’s particular knack for storytelling, history, and connecting with consumers helped the brand build the recognition and reputation that Four Roses enjoys today.
Jim Rutledge steps down. Brent Elliott steps up.
August 2015, Jim Rutledge retired as Master Distiller and Brent Elliott, who had worked alongside Jim for 10 years, became the company’s new Master Distiller.
Brent Elliott named Master Distiller of the Year
Current Master Distiller, Brent Elliott, was named Master Distiller/Blender of the year at the Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky America award ceremony. Brent, to this day, plays an integral role in the growth & maintains continued passion for creating premium bourbons at Four Roses.
The Four Roses legacy
The people who work at the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY and at our warehouse and bottling facility in Cox’s Creek, KY, continue the legacy that began with Paul Jones in 1888. Their passion for quality and pride in handcrafting an award-winning Bourbon is evident in the consistent and elegant taste that has become the signature of the Four Roses Brand.